Until recently it hadn't even crossed my mind that LCD monitors might make noticeable noise. I've had two NEC MultiSync EA191M's now for years and they are fantastically quiet. I thought they were silent until recently...
Wanting a more widescreen monitor (but not as widescreen as 16:9), I bought an Acer V226WL monitor
and set it up. I immediately noticed a buzzing/whining noise that the thing was emitting when I had my desktop showing (it's a dark image but with some light contrast). The more dark/light contrast it seems the more buzzing/whining there was. At its worst I'd describe it as sounding faintly like a fan rubbing against something.
During my investigation of this noise I came across a site called Screen Tunes
, which seems like a very nice test for the whining noise a monitor makes. I don't think this is connected to the backlight of the monitor as it's not the brightness that changes the whining; it's the contrast of the pixels on the screen. My Acer monitor was making a very loud whining when I maximized that page, but my old EA191M's were barely making any noise at all. They're not quite
silent but barely noticeable.
I RMA'd the Acer and decided to go for an NEC MultiSync E223W
instead, hoping that NEC would keep similar technology to my existing monitors and it would be quiet. To my horror, this one is a bit noisy too. It's not as bad as the Acer, but there is a definite high-pitched whining noise when my head is at a 45 degree angle to the monitor - when I look at it straight on, it tends to go away. Changing the brightness and contrast makes zero difference. The Screen Tunes webpage maximized does make this monitor whine somewhat too, much louder than the old EA191M does.
I know I'm probably particularly noise-sensitive, but do others notice this? Is it just impossible to get a 1680x1050 monitor that doesn't emit some amount of whining?